This color composite of Io was acquired by Galileo during its sixth orbit (E6) of
Jupiter as part of a sequence of images designed to monitor changes in the
surface color due to volcanic activity. Two prominent features in this hemisphere
are Pele (the big red ring) and Loki (the dark horseshoe shaped feature).
Amaterasu Patera, the dark spot north of Loki, has darkened since G1. The new
deposits at Ra Patera (below Loki) have faded in appearance since the images
taken eight months earlier during Galileo's first orbit (G1). (Compare this view of
Ra Patera with the Galileo images from June 1996 and Voyager images obtained
in 1979. A limb view showing the erupting plume during G1 is available as well.)
North is to the top of the picture which combines images acquired using violet,
green, and near-infrared (756 micrometers) filters. The resolution is 11.2
kilometers per picture element. The images were taken on February 20, 1997 at
a range of 554,000 kilometers by the solid state imaging (CCD) system on
NASA's Galileo spacecraft.
Launched in October 1989, Galileo entered orbit around Jupiter on December 7,
1995. The spacecraft's mission is to conduct detailed studies of the giant planet,
its largest moons and the Jovian magnetic environment. The Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space
Science, Washington, DC.
This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the
World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL